Kansas City Black History Tour launches Saturday
By JOYCE SMITH
The Kansas City Star
The Underground Railroad exhibit in the West Bottoms. The Quindaro Ruins in Kansas City, Kan. The Mutual Musicians Foundation and the American Jazz Museum in the 18th and Vine district.
These sites and others are not just places on a map but a lesson in perseverance and character development, said local historian Erik Stafford.
Stafford has teamed up with the Kansas City Transportation Group and Gates Bar-B-Q to develop The Kansas City Black History Tour.
The operators did a trial run during Black History month in February and during several conventions, including one for the NAACP, in order to get feedback.
Now the tour will run from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturdays, starting this Saturday. A luxury mini-bus will travel to several sites to explore key times in African-American history. Stafford will discuss how African-Americans played a part in Kansas City being called the “Paris of the Plains.” He’ll also cover the story of Jackie Robinson and the Kansas City Monarchs, and why 18th & Vine became an international draw.
The cost is $25.95 per person.
Kansas City Transportation Group conducts several other tours including holiday light tours, wine tours to Hermann, Mo., a gangster tour, and a barbecue and jazz tour.
“The Black History Tour is more of an educational tour than an entertainment tour. We have such a rich history when you look at it,” said Bill George, chief executive officer of Kansas City Transportation Group, one of the metro’s largest transportation companies. “It’s a good addition to Kansas City and all the cultural attractions.”
The tour starts and ends at Gates Pointe at 1221 Brooklyn.
“Just the historic significance of the tour and the historic significance of Gates, over 60 years in business,” said George Gates, chief operations officer for Gates Bar-B-Q. “There’s a kinship, deep roots for Gates barbecue, where we started and a lot of historical values on this tour.”
• The retail portion of downtown’s George E. Wolf Parking Garage on Oak Street will soon be home to two food operations.
Barbosa’s Mexican Restaurant, which has two locations in St. Joseph, is entering the Kansas City market with a new concept set to open in early July at 1124 Oak St. Chelsea Taylor, a member of the Barbosa family, will manage the Kansas City restaurant.
Barbosa’s Express has set preliminary hours at 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays.
The Original Wing Busters & More, Grandview, plans to open at 1128 Oak St. by the end of the month. It will be open at 7 a.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. It has not set closing hours yet. The menu will include breakfast sandwiches, wings, burgers, and Philly cheesesteak sandwiches.
• Frida’s Contemporary Mexican Cuisine has relocated from 14861 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, to the Southridge Retail Center at 7200 W. 121st St. It plans a soft opening at 11 a.m. Sunday. The owners have doubled the size of the restaurant and bar and also will have a private party room. An outdoor patio with fire pit will be added in the next few weeks.
• The owners of Aixois in the Crestwood Shops at 251 E. 55th St., hoped to have their new downtown bistro open in April. Now they’re planning to open Aixois Brasserie in the Commerce Arcade, 1000 Walnut St., by the end of June.
• Cowtown Barbeque Product’s “Night of the Living Bar-B-Q Sauce” made Southern Living magazine’s June listing of top barbecue sauces. The magazine handed the Kansas City, Kan. sauce the No. 1 spot, saying it was for chipotle fans, “fiery yet sweet.” Hillsdale Bank Bar-B-Q’s The Sauce (hot) was No. 6 on the list.
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